News Wrap: Iran Defends Nuclear Fuel Swap as U.N. Prepares for Sanctions Vote
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KWAME HOLMAN: Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad urged the international community to support his country’s agreement brokered with Turkey and Brazil to swap nuclear fuel. He said it would resolve the nuclear issue, but he warned it is a one-time opportunity and that imposing more sanctions on Iran would be a mistake. The U.N. Security Council is scheduled to vote on a new round of sanctions tomorrow morning.
In Washington, a State Department spokesman said Iran has had more than enough time to change its course.
P.J. CROWLEY, U.S. assistant secretary of state for public affairs: Iran think — you know, wants to portray itself as the victim here. Iran is not the victim. You know, Iran is an actor in this play. And it’s Iran that has failed to come forward and meet its international obligations. And what we are saying is, that failure has consequences. We are not closing the door to any step beyond, you know, the sanctions vote tomorrow.
KWAME HOLMAN: In London, U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates insisted it’s not too late to stop the Iranians from developing a nuclear weapon. He said the clock is ticking.
Voters in 12 states headed to the polls this primary Tuesday to determine the fates of Senators, House members, and governors. Primaries or runoffs were under way from Maine to California, Georgia to North Dakota.
In California’s gubernatorial race, Republican Meg Whitman, a former eBay executive, already has spent more than $70 million in her bid against state Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner. And, in South Carolina, voters are choosing a successor for Republican Governor Mark Sanford in a race charged with allegations of infidelity against one of the candidates.
Opening statements in the federal corruption trial of former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich began today. A federal prosecutor alleged Blagojevich was part of a series of illegal shakedowns. He has pleaded not guilty to trying to profit from his right to pick someone to fill President Obama’s former Senate seat.
Blagojevich arrived at the courthouse in Chicago smiling and joking with journalists. He told them the government has lied to the media and the public about the case.
General Motors announced it’s recalling a million-and-a-half vehicles worldwide because of the potential for fires. The recall affects several pickup trucks, sport utility vehicles and passenger cars from the 2006 to 2009 model years. GM plans to disable a heated washer fluid system module that could lead to fires. Nearly all of the vehicles affected were sold in the U.S.
It was a mixed day on Wall Street today. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 123 points to close at 9940. The Nasdaq fell three points to close above 2170.
Those are some of the day’s major stories — now back to Judy.